A new voice has just entered the debate on the possible return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions. She is Ukrainian. And knows how to make himself heard. The former heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko, Olympic champion in 1996 in super-heavyweight, then double world champion in the professionals, published a one-minute video message where he suggests that the sports leaders will be complicit in the war if Russia and Belarus are present next year at the Paris 2024 Games. Filmed in front of bomb-damaged buildings, the former boxer’s message begins with a “Dear Thomas Bach.” It continues as follows: “The world is watching you, history will judge you. Good luck with your decision. You are the representative of the universal values of tolerance and peace. I tell you: the Russians are the Olympic champions of crimes against civilians. You cannot put your Olympic emblem on these crimes because you will be an accomplice in this abominable war“. The elder brother of Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali, is the current mayor of Kiev.
— Published 1 February 2023